Azure Virtual Machine for SharePoint 2013

For new developers in SharePoint 2013, Procuring a machine is a challenge.  Following are the available options & drawbacks.

  • Install as a Secondary Boot Operating System with SharePoint.  (Setbacks: Hardware may not have enough power)
  • Install a Virtual Machine on top of a Windows 7/8 machine (Setbacks: Hardware may not have enough power)

SharePoint 2013 Hardware Configuration

Following would be the preferable hardware specification for a SharePoint development machine.

  • 64-bit I5/I7 Processor
  • 12-16 GB RAM
  • SSD HDD

Azure Virtual Machine

If you cannot procure such a machine quickly, you can use Azure Virtual Machines.  I am giving below the steps & tips to procure & maintain a free azure virtual machine.

Free Trial

Azure is providing free trial for 1 month.  This will give a $200 credit for using the virtual machine.  After the credit Or trial period, the subscription comes to an end.\

Steps

Open the URL: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/virtual-machines/

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Click on the MY ACCOUNT link from the top row.

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Click on the Management Portal link from the bottom.  Sign in with a Microsoft Registered Account.  (You can use your personal email id like gmail as well)  In the appearing page click on the VIRTUAL MACHINES from the left pane.

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Click the NEW button from the bottom row.

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You will get the following page.

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Choose COMPUTE > VIRTUAL MACHINE > FROM GALLERY option.  (This will help you pick a pre-configured image, saves lot of time).  You can select the following image.

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Select the SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image & Click the Next button arrow on the bottom. 

In the appearing page, choose the following options.  Enter your user name & password to continue. 

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Use the appropriate options in the next page.

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In the next page accept the defaults & click the OK button (Tick mark)

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You will get the following screen.  Wait for the provisioning to be completed.

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Remote Desktop

Once the VM is provisioned & started, you can use Remote Desktop connectivity to the above machine.

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Click on the CONNECT button.  You will get the RDP file downloaded.  Click on the downloaded file to open Remote Desktop connection. 

You should be get prompted with the Username dialog box like below.

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(If you are not getting the dialog box, make sure your Network Settings allows connection to external machines / RDP ports)

Once authenticated you will be getting the new virtual machine.

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Run the SharePoint 2013 Central Administration from the Start Menu.

For further configurations, please see the References link.

Tip

Make sure you are turning off your virtual machine after use using the SHUT DOWN option. (else your credit might reduce faster)

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References

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial-faq/

http://www.sharepointcto.com/View.aspx?id=5

Summary

In this post we have seen how to procure an Azure VM for SharePoint 2013 development purposes.

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